On Thursday, September 27, 2012 9:57:11 AM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
>
> On Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > wrote:
>
> > I meant more 'your answer to God' - the universal principle of automatic 
>> functionality which allows you to believe that no being or creation need 
>> exist.
>>
>
> Religious people think God is important and I think information is 
> important, but other than that the two have little in common and 
> information is most certainly not my word for God.
>
> >>> A wire is good at imitating a stumulus with high fidelity.
>>>>
>>>
>>> >>Yes, and so is a nerve.
>>>
>>
>> > Sure. Which begs the question, why have a nerve cell at all?
>>
>
> Nerves transmit a signal from point A to point B, and organisms that are 
> crummy at that were eaten by those that were good at it thus crummy nerve 
> making genes were not passed on to the next generation but good nerve 
> making genes were.
>

But you don't need a living cell to transmit a signal. That is my point. 
Why have a cell?
 

>
> > Why not just have one cell produce sturdy bones filled with potassium 
>> and calcium ionic microfilaments, and then die?
>>
>
> Because if a cell gets too big the ratio between surface area and volume 
> gets so large that the cell can't import nutrients and export waste 
> products fast enough to live.
>

You're not getting what I mean. Why not have cells that crap out signaling 
fibers made of calcium instead? Let the calcium do the signaling and screw 
the cells.
 

>
> >Why not put the conscious part in the skull?
>>
>
> I am unable to parse that.
>

I am saying that in your world, a bony lump made of ionic mineral couplings 
would be a far superior candidate to host a successful organism than a 
mushy brain that needs constant protection by a skull. 

>
> > What makes an animal an animal is having the capacities to experience 
>> the world as an animal
>>
>
> A rose is a rose is a rose
>  - Gertrude Stein
>
> > Farting is part of that.
>
> Okey-dokey.
>

Do you deny that animalia is a legitimate biological kingdom? Or that 
gastrointestinal digestion is a common trait of animals? Why am I the kook 
for suggesting such an obvious scientific fact? Have you ever had the right 
hemisphere of your brain checked out? I see no sign of its functioning in 
your reasoning.

(see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbUHxC4wiWk)

 

>
> > Farting doesn't need to be explained to an animal, but a computer can't 
>> understand it
>>
>
> Okey-dokey.
>

Translation: "I have no argument, but I can't admit you have a point".
 

>
> > if I were human, I would still know that the difference between being 
>> male and female is of a different order of magnitude than the difference 
>> between being a person or a brick wall.
>>
>
> If in your entire life all women you had ever seen or heard about were in 
> a coma you would put them in the same category as you put a brick wall.
>

A ridiculous example, but also false. Given the opportunity, monkeys will 
seek out a wire frame mother with fur on it rather than bare wire, even 
without having been exposed to a real monkey. Your assumption is 
misinformed.
 

>
> > If you made a computer out of something that could be conscious, you 
>> would not be able to control it
>>
>
> True, the more conscious it became the harder it would be to control, and 
> with computers doubling in power every 18 months we won't be able to 
> control them for much longer.
>

Show me a computer that can't be turned off first.
 

>
> > and it would almost certainly kill you and all living organisms on the 
>> planet as soon as it figured out how it could.
>>
>
> I wouldn't say that with certainty because you can't with any confidence 
> predict what the behavior of a mind a thousand times smarter and a million 
> times faster than your own will be, but what you say is entirely possible, 
> perhaps even probable; although I like to think that a computer Jupiter 
> Brain will keep a few of us around for our nostalgic value or as pampered 
> pets.
>

No, I think that all life would be neutralized immediately per game theory 
logic of eliminating possible threats. 


> > Your insistence on death being not much different than life is sophistry 
>> at best, psychopathy at worst.
>>
>
> I never said death was not much different than life, I said there was an 
> enormous difference and you can tell the difference by observing behavior. 
>

Or you can tell the difference by experiencing being alive yourself. Why do 
you neglect this little detail?
 

> You also said there was a enormous difference but you insisted that 
> behavior had nothing to do with it.
>

Behavior is a symptom, not a cause. You can pretend to be dead, but you 
can't pretend to be alive.
 

> I then asked how you can tell the difference, but other than a few remarks 
> about farting I have been unable to get a straight answer out of you.
>

How can you tell that you are alive? You assume there is some deductive 
process that we use to arrive at this conclusion. There isn't. People think 
fictional characters are alive and animals have no ability to feel. It's 
all based on the cultural expectations and preferences of the individual 
and can vary from month to month.
 

>
> > What kind of logic relies on fright and joy to compute?
>>
>
> The sort of logic where "don't die" is an important, although not 
> necessarily the most important, goal.
>

Why? If I want something to be important to a computer, I can just assign 
it a high functional value in it's software. What possible use would 'joy' 
or 'fright' have?
 

>
> > It sounds like you are giving me completely different capacities and a 
>> free will to motivate my decisions rather than logical 'reasons'.
>>
>
> Cannot comment, don't know what ASCII characters "free will" means.
>

I'm not the only one to roll their eyes at these sophomoric cop-outs.
 

>
> > My ideas are logically self-consistent
>>
>
> X is not Y and X is not not Y is not logically self-consistent.
>

It depends on what X and Y refer to. If X = Only Stop or Only Go and Y = 
the referent for the intended meaning of a Yellow Traffic light, then X is 
not Y and X is not (not) Y. Your logic lacks sophistication is all. It is 
intolerant of reality.


> > what my ideas explain - concsiousness, is beyond logic.
>>
>
> Nobody would renounce logic if logic supported their ideas, but when it 
> doesn't and you find the ideas pleasant you do what you need to do to keep 
> the delusion going.
>

Typically we don't have to renounce logic. Consciousness gives them the 
free will to decide which what balance of logic and intuition they prefer.
 

>
> >Life is simple
>>
>
> Incorrect, life is not simple.
>

Life can be reduced to a one dimensional condition of being.
 

>
> > it just begins on a cellular level of description, not a molecular one.
>>
>
> What the hell? Your mind won't work right if your brain doesn't work 
> right, and your brain won't work right if your cells don't work right, and 
> your cells won't work right if your molecules don't work right, and your 
> molecules won't work right if your atoms don't work right. There is no fine 
> line dividing life from non-life, there is only a grey blob.
>

Just because a bus won't run without an engine doesn't mean that a 
disassembled pile of bus parts is the same thing as a working bus. I agree 
there is no fine line dividing life from non-life, but it is a ridiculous 
exaggeration to claim 'there is only a grey blob'. The boundary between 
life and non-life or life an death is as clear as most categorical 
distinctions we can conceive of. 
 

>
> > If my twin brother is under anesthesia, he is likely to be unconscious
>>
>
> And you deduced that by observing his behavior, he is no longer behaving 
> intelligently 
>

The Count on Sesame Street behaves intelligently. I don't deduce that he is 
conscious.
 

> so you figure he is not conscious. If he was laughing and telling jokes 
> and beating you at chess and making the following noise with his mouth "I 
> am conscious" then you'd conclude that the anesthesia drug was not working 
> for some reason and he was as conscious as you are. In this case I can't 
> prove you made the correct conclusion but I have a very strong hunch you 
> did.
>

Personal and cultural expectations guide our intuition. There is no 
checklist of intelligent behaviors.
 

>
> > Ultimately only my brother knows for sure whether he is personally 
>> conscious.
>>
>
> Exactly true, but what confuses me is you say that not just the smart 
> computer but you Craig Weinberg also knows if it is personally conscious or 
> not. How the hell do you do that?
>

I have no reason to assume that a computer is smart. Machines can be 
programmed to simulate recorded actions. Those actions can be smart, but it 
doesn't mean there is something there experiencing anything.

Craig
 

>
> John K Clark
>
>

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